By Evelyn Castillo-Bach
The next frontier for Facebook is not about acquiring the latest technological cool feature or buying out the next big start up. It's about owning children -- what they think, what they like, who they know. Make no mistake, CEO Mark Zuckerberg is intent in collecting, managing, and controlling all there is to know about your children. He has already made significant headway, even though there is a law that blocks him from collecting information on children under 13 years of age.
-- A Consumer's Report study points to 7.5 million children under the age of 13 who are already Facebook users, despite the fact that it's not permitted by law. How does that happen? Is Facebook breaking the law and getting away with it?
-- Facebook is well known for ousting users for not using their real names. It has the technological know how to do this. But at the same time it allows 7.5 million children to remain within the site.
Even assuming that many of those children reside outside the USA, Facebook is a US-based company and is bound by US laws. Are we suppose to believe that Facebook doesn't know they have millions of children illegally signed up? Or are we to believe that they lack the technological skill to remove them?
-- In an interview with John Doerr, first reported by Fortune on May 20, 2011, CEO Mark Zuckerberg left no doubt that not only does he think kids should be allowed on Facebook at a very young age, but that it should be permitted because it's good for their education and for the economy.
"That will be a fight we take on at some point," he said. "My philosophy is that for education you need to start at a really, really young age."
"Education is clearly the biggest thing that will drive how the economy improves over the long term."
-- Right now there is a law blocking Zuckerberg from legally inducing children onto Facebook. The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) mandates that websites that collect information about users (which Facebook does) aren't allowed to sign up anyone under the age of 13.
So here we have a situation where a billionaire pushes his philosophy that its okay to collect information on young children in defiance of US law because it's good for their education and for the national economy. Then he proceeds to allow 7.5 million kids to sign up, looking the other way while the law is ignored. And why is he not prosecuted?
Zuckerberg: Kids under 13 should be allowed on Facebook
Mark Zuckerberg Suggests Kids Under 13 Should Be Allowed On Facebook
Evelyn Castillo-Bach is the founder of UmeNow.com
UmeNow.com is the first and only ad-free social communication service in the world that is totally focused on privacy.
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